The Wintery Menagerie

The Wintery Menagerie

Santa soars toward the North Pole, the Guardian flying beside him. Teddy is sprawled out in the back. The Elfinator sits in the corner, powered down. 

“We’re about 15 klicks south of the North Pole,” says Snazzyflakes, clinically reading over the heads up display until a notification catches his attention, “Incoming transmission… source unknown. I’m patching it through.”

“Hello there Krissy,” comes the voice hissing through the speakers, “Miss me?”

“Slay…” says Claus, “You don’t have to do this. Bring yourself in before you go too far.”

“Too far?” asks Slay mockingly, “I’m just getting started. And you’re invited to my opening-night! HAHAHAHA.”

“When and where,” says Santa through gritted teeth.


Santa and his company stand in the whipping winds of the white desert of the North Poles frozen tundra. The midnight sun looms The towering Nutcracker has joined the band, marching several miles to meet them at the coordinates provided. To prevent his wooden joints from freezing up, the 

“Anyone else feeling like this could be a trap,” asks Snazzyflakes, as he and Sugarfoot carry the Elfinator out of the Sleigh.

“Oh it is,” says Claus, “Attacking the North Pole is too braggadocious, even for Slay. There’s too many defensive measures, anti-air missiles, anti-air gun emplacements, not to mention a legion of security elves. He wants me out here. Out in the open.”

“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?” says Snazzyflakes.

“RAWWWWWRRRR,” interjects Teddy.

“Oh well there is that,” says Snazzyflakes.

Santa pulls out a unique weapon turning it over in the moonlight. It is a large gun, with a large cylinder situated between an adjustable stock, a high-tech night vision/thermal scope, and a large tubular barrel. Santa presses a button situated near the grip and an emerald beam springs forward. A hefty rod of candy cane is slung across his back.

Suddenly, a roar fills the air and the snow begins to whip all around. The band can now see a flickering object, difficult to see from a distance, now easier to see up close. A shining light pulses along the hull of the vessel and the ship phases into view. 

“Silent Night,” says Santa. 

A door opens on the side of the vessel, revealing a backlit silhouette.

“Oh Santa, I’m hooooo-ooome,” crows Slay. 

“I’ve made a list and checked it twice, Slay,” says Santa, racking the bolt on his weapon, “You’re on the naughty list, come and get your coal.”

“Oh Kris you simpleton, you cannot ask for the finale before the show has even began,” exclaims Slay with a flourish.

Silent Night begins to hum ominously. Before Santa and company, several figures begin to phase into reality.

Slay holds up one of his bells, speaking into it like a microphone, “He’s freezy, he’s frosty, and he’s more than scary. It’s the one, it’s the only, it’s the indomitable… BLIZZARD.”

Before them, the hulking figure of the frozen monster appears, growls echoing between his sharp icicle teeth.

“Santa, allow me to reintroduce you to our favorite disciplinarian. He loves to whip up a ruckus! IT’S KRAMPUS!”

The mountainous monstrosity steps forward, a birch whip hanging his claws. His breath blows heavily through his bullish nostrils.

“This nimble sprite has a weird penchant for fingers and toes, and though he doesn’t have the cold nature our other compatriots possess, I’m sure you’ll find his mischievousness quite chilly! Meet Jack Frost!”

This creature doesn’t quite solidify but his face appears with a mischievous grin, like frost on a window, and then blows away in the wind.

“And last, but certainly not least, a new face to my wintery menagerie. I think you’re really going to love him! Oh Sant-O-Lantern?”

Nothing appears before the company but a shadow crosses the moon, and a ghoulish laugh rings through the night.

“Ah well” says Slay, “I guess he’s shy. Well then, get at it boys!”

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